April 26, 2019

Piter's People – Dusya Gorbovskaya


Piter's People – Dusya Gorbovskaya
Dusya at the wooden embankment of Sevkabel Port. Elena Bobrova

Dusya is a Vasiliyevsky Island local, whose job it is to promote a creative space located on the island – Sevkabel Port.  The new public space, has given people access to the sea, modern art, great festivals and parties. 

Dusya, tell us your story.

I lived in Moskovsky District until I was eight, then moved with my mother to Vasiliyevsky Island, into a flat near Smolenskoye Cemetery, which is where I still live. For quite a long time I also lived near Ladozhskaya Metro Station, but it has been eight years since I returned to the island. 

Vasiliyevsky Island is a city within a city. This part of St. Petersburg is isolated, but in a good way, quite often vasiliyeostrovtsy [residents of the island] don’t leave it, as they have everything they need within the district. We don’t have enough green areas and parks here, however. That’s why Smolenskoye Cemetery is our central park and meeting point.

Smolenskoe cemetery
A view of Smolenskoe cemetery from Dusya's apartment. / Dusya Gorbovskaya

I like our wide prospects, there are not so many people on the streets and it’s really safe to cycle here. Every side of the island is different: there is the ceremonial and historic University Embankment, there is my favorite Lieutenant Smidt Embankment, where we cycle day and night with my friends. There is a zone with a bike lane on Makarova Embankment, with a view of the Gazprom skyscraper and Football Stadium. There are wild beaches near a new housing area on the man-made area of the Gulf of Finland. There is the Smolenka River, which partly goes through the cemetery and of course there is Sevkabel Port, which has opened up incredible opportunities. 

Sevkabel Port
Port Sevkabel is a public creative space overlooking the Gulf of Finland. / Dusya Gorbovskaya

What do you do in Sevkabel Port?

Although I graduated from the Faculty of Geography and Geoecology at St. Petersburg State University, I was always interested in social-cultural projects. I came into this sphere 10 years ago, when I started to work as an administrator in the Loft Project Etagi [an art-center and shopping hub]. There, each administrator was everything all at once: a photographer, curator, tour guide, PR-manager and so on. Later, I worked at New Holland Island [a park with cultural events], several PR-agencies, and for three and a half years at the Library of Arts and Music at Nevsky Prospect 20, as a press-secretary.  

I first came to Sevkabel in May 2017. They didn’t have an inviting embankment and proper access to the Gulf of Finland. It was a big party, and, as I knew organizers, I was able to smoke behind the stage and experience this view of the water. Some time before that, I celebrated my birthday in a club in nearby factory, and we had a stunning view from the window. For more than 10 years I knew Alexei Onatsko, who is curating this project . He told me that the Sevkabel factory [formerly the Siemens & Halske electrical engineering company] planned to create a public space on the spot of their former industrial zone. Of course I dreamed about joining the project from the very beginning, but I started to work here as PR-director only in February 2018. 

Sevkabel port by night
The factory was founded by Siemens & Halske in the nineteenth century and played a major role in the electrification of the country in the twentieth century. / Dusya Gorbovskaya

Sevkabel Port is growing and expanding. We now have 70 residents, who rent lofts and offices for their projects. They are music promoters, artists, architecture and art studios, a tattoo-salon, and even some people who are living here! Last year we opened up only for events; today we work every day from 10:30 to 23:00. Our investor is Sevkabel Factory, and the managing company is Miles & Yards, so it’s a 100% long-term story. It’s clear that nobody else will come in here, move us away, and try to sell this space for development. We didn’t spent money on advertising, as our events advertise us and people post many photos and videos on their social media. 

Which places would you recommend for foreign tourists visiting St. Petersburg?

My first choice would be Sevkabel Port, because it is the best place from which to view the Baltic Sea in the city. This summer we will launch boat tours with two hop-on, hop-off routes. One will go around the island, while the second will connect us with a pier in the city center. For those who are interested in modern art, I would recommend the Manege Central Exhibition Hall. I really appreciate all the renovations that took place there recently. Smolenskoe Cemetery, although some people may find this odd. I love cemeteries myself and always explore them when I travel in Europe. Lieutenant Smidt Embankment, as it’s a bit in the shadow of other embankments. I love to cycle there and see all the ships and the industrial water zone. Pif-Paf Bar for those who would like to party and dance. Sometimes I perform there as a DJ with my female friends from the Girls on Probation project. There is a vintage shop nearby. Maybe it is not so much about Russian culture, but I like it a lot.

Girls on Probation
Dusya with her friends Darina and Lyuba. / Girls on probation

Addresses:

  • Sevkabel Port - Kozhevennaya Liniya, 40.
  • Manege Central Exhibition Hall - St Isaac's Square, 1.
  • Smolenskoe Cemetery - Kamskaya Street, 26.
  • Lieutenant Smidt Embankment
  • Pif-Paf Bar - Griboedova Canal Embankment, 31.

 

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.

All of Piter's People

Piter's People – Natalia Kapiturova

Piter's People – Natalia Kapiturova

We begin a new project, in which readers meet regular St. Petersburgers, to learn about their lives and their favorite places in the Northern Palmyra. First up: coffee!
Piter's People – Nikolay Predtechensky

Piter's People – Nikolay Predtechensky

St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 as a port on the Baltic Sea, and about 10% of its surface area is water. So we meet a boat rental company owner and find out the best place for pizza in the city.
Piter's People - Katya Kotlyar

Piter's People - Katya Kotlyar

Graphic designer, traveler, instagram explorer, Katya Kotlyar knows her home city inside out, and sees it as an artist would, as a beautiful backdrop for living.
Piter's People – Sergey Goorin

Piter's People – Sergey Goorin

St. Petersburg is often thought to be a gray city, as it only has about 75 sunny days each year. Still, photographer Segrey Goorin finds inspiration here for his black and white photography, capturing street life, extraordinary locals and numerous parties.   
Piter's People - Ekaterina Khozatskaya

Piter's People - Ekaterina Khozatskaya

Ekaterina is an artist who is constantly sketching in St. Petersburg bars. Her hobby led to the creation of the Instagram blog “Between the Bars,” where she captures the city's bohemian atmosphere.
Piter's People coping with Coronavirus

Piter's People coping with Coronavirus

Given all that has been going on, we thought it would be a good time to check in with some of the people we have profiled in Piter's People and see how they are doing.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

802-223-4955